Northrop Grumman to collaborate with RMIT University on UAS

Northrop Grumman and RMIT University will collaborate on UAS airworthiness and airspace management. (Northrop Grumman)
Northrop Grumman and RMIT University will collaborate on UAS airworthiness and airspace management. (Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman has announced it has set up a collaboration effort with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University to study the airworthiness requirements for operating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Australia.

The collaboration involves developing solutions for safely and efficiently operating UAS in all airspace environments with a particular focus on larger systems the size of small commercial jets.

“As a producer of large-scale unmanned aircraft systems, our goal is not only to provide the aircraft , but also to understand fully the Australian government’s needs to certify them for operation,” Northrop Grumman Australia chief executive Ian Irving said. “We’re extremely excited to work with RMIT University because of their leadership in the development of innovative approaches to civil and military airspace regulatory reform and air vehicle certification.”

Reece Clothier, from RMIT’s Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Research Centre added: “Northrop Grumman is a leading provider of high-altitude unmanned aircraft systems that will provide a transformative capability to the ADF. In collaboration with Northrop Grumman and the ADF, we will help establish a plan for bringing this unique capability into service.”

The government has provided initial approval for the RAAF to acquire up to seven Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft from about 2020.